June 14 (UPI) — A salmonella outbreak linked to backyard chickens continues to spread throughout the United States, a new study says.

Since May, 227 additional people have reported contracting the illness, pulling the total up the number of total cases to 279, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of states with reported cases also grew from 20 to 41.

So far, 40 people have gone to the hospital for treatment, but no deaths have been reported.

Children under age 5 make up about one-third of the overall reported salmonella cases. Many of the infected people contracted the disease from chicks and ducklings bought online, at hatcheries and in agricultural stores.

People typically get infected with salmonella by eating animals that contain the disease, although some people contract it by kissing and touching animals or their environments.

The CDC recommends people to stay outside while cleaning cages, feed or water containers or any other equipment used to maintain poultry.

In early June, the CDC also reported 27 cases of salmonella linked to hedgehogs.

The bacterial disease usually causes diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps that last between 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. Overall, the salmonella lasts between four to seven days. People normally recover from salmonella without any treatment.

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